Sunday 6 March 2011

A Book Finished

This morning I finished the final read-through of my new book, attached it to an e-mail and sent it off to my agent so she can forward it to the publisher. That’s it, job done. Several revisions, two excellent critiques with changes made, and The Constant Lovers is off my desk.

As always, when a book that’s been so much a part of you goes it’s a case of mix feelings. There’s the pleasure of finally being done, of having given it everything, having lived, sweated and died with these people, loved them and hated them. Then there’s the sadness of letting go, off seeing this child venture out alone into the world, beyond my care.

And there’s also the oh shit, I have to do it all again soon feeling.

The good part with The Constant Lovers is that, from start to finish, the book took a little under six months while working other jobs, some writing, some not. The bad part is that it took a little under six months. A good book should take longer, right? I came into it right after finishing the previous book in the series (Cold Cruel Winter, which will be published in May), so the characters were strong in my mind, and I had a good idea what I wanted to do. But it’s not a course I’d take again. It’s just too much, too fast. More breathing space between is needed. So now I know that, and the fourth book has been taking shape for a few months. It’ll wait longer before I really begin, though.

Meanwhile, I can address that what next feeling. Seven years ago I wrote a biography on John Martyn that, for complex reasons, was never published. Since then the man himself died. This June a posthumous album will be released, along with a tribute album, and my book, revised and completed, will appear as part of the celebration of John. So it’s a welcome change-up to non-fiction for a few months (along with paid work) and music writing. And after that? Well, we’ll wait and see what happens…

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